Is Decarbonization Getting Derailed?
<p>As a collective group of humanity, we have faced the onslaught of several waves of the most dangerous virus over the last two years. </p><p>We had never thought of the phenomenon of "Lockdown" in our lifetime, and even Hollywood never really had a movie on that theme, barring some odd ones in the past. Slowly we seem to be getting accustomed to this new normal of living with the virus as new waves come and old disappear. </p><p>However, the bigger monster in the room and oft ignored by many is 'Climate change,' which is in constant command, and we keep blowing hot and cold towards it, thinking it to be temporary as if it's going to go away soon. Please make no mistakes, dear Humans; nature is very caring but scary if you fiddle with it. </p><p>Let's see what best we did when in a year, we were apparently Locked in. </p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Scenario of Decarbonization During and After Lockdown</span></h2><p>The skies were blue, and the AQI was at its lowest in even the world's most polluted cities. </p><p>The wildlife was free to roam as a human threat to their existence was caged for a while. It seemed we had traveled back to the pre-Industrial era.However, this euphoria was short-lived. </p><p>Once the efforts of the scientists to develop the vaccine bore fruit, the human race started to return to their old ways, and the Chakra of mechanical life started to move. </p><p>Our carbon emissions came down to an all-time low in a decade, and it was predicted that we would be able to overcome the climate crisis in the next ten years.</p><p>In fact, the energy demand outpaced the supply, and as a result, there was a surge in the usage of coal and other fossil fuels as they were the easiest and quickest way to generate energy. </p><p>All noble plans to increase the footprint of alternate energy sources were forcibly put on the back burner since the supply chains involved in green energy projects were severely affected, so any efforts to kickstart new renewable energy projects got disrupted. </p><h2><span style="font-size: 14pt;">Meeting Energy Requirement or Sustainability</span></h2><p>It was a question of survival regarding meeting the energy requirements no matter the source. </p><p>There were long periods of waiting at ports and piling up containers in one part of the world, with the other having no containers to ship out material. Even the movement of coal became a challenge. </p><p>It was a peculiar situation as never seen before. We were back to square one as far as decarbonization was concerned. </p><p>Such a panicked situation shows that we have gotten used to our creature comforts and cannot tolerate any disruption, no matter the consequences. We conveniently forget the bigger threats of global warming to stay cozy in our homes. The same people who were shouting from rooftops for doing away with coal and oil were happy now as long as their homes were powered. </p><p>It's time we learned to sacrifice some of our comforts and save the planet. Even today, we as a global community are more concerned about the energy crisis unfolding before us due to the Ukraine conflict, and scant attention is being paid to decarbonization. </p><p>If we have to fight the menace of climate change, we must collectively make an effort to keep aside all our differences in Geo-political space. </p><p>Climate change is the biggest crisis mankind has ever seen, and any slackness in dealing with it will bring catastrophic results. We have no option but to heed nature's warning to fix things.</p><p> </p><p><span style="font-size: 10pt;"><em>This article was contributed by our expert <a href="https://www.linkedin.com/in/sanjiv-sharma-0752326a/">Sanjiv Sharma</a></em></span></p><p> </p><h3><span style="font-size: 18pt;">Frequently Asked Questions Answered by Sanjiv Sharma </span></h3><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">1. What is the current net-zero emissions scenario globally?</span></h2><p>The United Nations laid the road map under SDG7 to reduce greenhouse gases to net zero by 2050 at the global level. Net zero will be achieved by reducing coal and other fossil fuels in the energy mix and gradually phasing out coal-based power plants in OECD nations by 2030. Simultaneously huge investments are required in renewables. While several nations have announced their timetable for net zero, all the target dates are 20 to 30 years away, and therefore there is uncertainty whether these target dates will be achieved as per the announcements. The recent geo-political crisis in Ukraine has already disrupted some of these plans.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">2. How can oil companies become more sustainable?</span></h2><p>Oil Companies can become more sustainable by adopting newer technologies in refining and exploration. Shale oil exploration requires large quantities of water; hence, new techniques are required in this area. Some of the oil majors are already going big in renewables; if they stick to these plans, they will indeed become more sustainable. Foraying into Hydrogen by Oil Cos is a game changer in the direction of sustainability.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">3. What is the future of green energy?</span></h2><p>Green Energy is the future of energy worldwide. Cutting-edge technologies and breakthroughs in the research and design of solar panels and PV cells and scaling up on the Green Hydrogen front will drive green energy in this decade.</p><h2><span style="font-size: 12pt;">4. What is India doing to reduce carbon emissions?</span></h2><p><span style="font-size: 12pt;">India has done a mammoth task of adopting green energy. In 2021 it had 150 GW capacity of renewable energy and had set a target of scaling it up to 500GW by 2030. India also took the lead in setting up the International Solar alliance, which has 121 countries as members. India ranks third in green energy installed capacity, which shows the priority that the Government is according to Clean Energy. India is already EURO 6 compliant with motor fuels and has also launched its Policy to adopt EVs under the FAME scheme of the Government. Indian Oil Companies are already working on pilot projects of Hydrogen.</span></p><p> </p>